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Our Chelsea Day!


I can’t believe it was over a week ago now that we visited Chelsea Flower Show. I had a wonderful day. I thought I’d seen it all…but you never do and I missed a lot. The crowds are a challenge at times, but I think it’s still worth it. Nothing is quite like Chelsea. I’ve been to Hampton Court, but it’s not the same at all….lovely, but quite different.

Anyway, enough rambling. Here are some photos for you!

This is before you even go in through the entrance…

Let’s start with the Artisan Gardens. They are always so hard to get to see because of the crowds in a very confined space…..

….but they are always so popular, and I prefer them to the big gardens….probably because once you get close (elbows out!) you can actually see the whole garden, more or less, whereas you need to fight your way through three or four times to see the big ones from each side!

And now for some statues and Objets d’Art….Some are just so ridiculous, and yet people must buy them! This Boar would put me right off my bacon butty!

Here is a picture of part of the Chelsea Royal Hospital where the Chelsea Pensioners live. I think we only saw one in his Red Coat this year. I expect most of them visit earlier in the week.

As well as the Pensioners, the Celebrities were also hiding from us this year. We saw only a few….

…we arrived at this garden just in time to see the ’People’s Choice Award’ being presented…I can understand why people voted for this garden, but it wouldn’t have been my choice…not keen on those concrete/stone plinths everywhere.

And here’s Cleve West showing some guests around his plot. I think their faces tell their own story! I love Cleve and his gardens are usually very high on my list, but not this year….disappointed.

Here’s part of his garden….doesn’t really work for me I’m afraid….

Nicky is always hard at work…

Monty and Joe, hiding!

Here’s me with the famous Vicky of the Gold Medal winning Plantagogo Heucheras…

Oh, and here’s some bloke in a posh pod. You’ll see a lot more of this pod later….much later….about September. Eh-hem. Enough said.

Gosh, this is a long blog. Time for a Pimms break!

..that’s better. Now, here’s a lovely outdoor room…not for Scotland though!

This hydrangea is the winner of this year’s Plant of the Year competition. Miss Saori is her name. Not for me, but some of you are going to love it!

Now, these three photos are of my least favourite things at Chelsea this year. I know some of you are going to disagree and find them beautiful, but that’s fine…..we are all different!

This show garden…can’t recall the name…had a hideous backdrop which gave me the creeps!

…and this fountain….sorry, but nope….

….and although this is incredibly clever….I don’t think it’s worth the effort. Sadly the flowers weren’t standing up to the challenge either….

Right, lets get down to Main Avenue…..and see some really lovely gardens….

The lovely young brothers who designed this garden were awarded a Silver Gilt Medal. I’m not sure why they missed the Gold, but I think this garden was extremely loved and admired. I think this would have been my ‘Best in Show’. It worked as a Garden and was quite unique in it’s planting and the use of all the Birches….stunning.
The Vital Earth Night Sky Garden….

The Telegraph Garden was more of the ‘usual’ Chelsea fayre. Very elegant, very polished and actually a tiny bit predictable.

This next garden was RHS Best In Show. I could see why. As a design it was impeccable, and the polish was superb. Faultless, definitely. It just failed to move me the way the Night Sky Garden did.

My second favourite garden was the Homebase ‘Time To Reflect’ garden. It was full of interest and beauty. I know what Oliveoil will say…not colourful enough!

Another favourite of mine….A Garden For First Touch at St George’s…great use of a slope and had a real woodland feel to it, which I loved.

The Extending Space Garden…

Alan Titchmarsh’s Garden was pure fantasy. It was like something out of a dream….impossible, but….well…dreamy!

Well, I just can’t show you all that I want to on this one blog…it’s far too long already, and by now you’ll be needing to put your feet up and have a rest…we’ve been walking around for hours. In anticipation of sore tootsies, I bought this fine pair of shoes and I have to say…they kept my feet dry and comfortable for the whole long journey! Next day…not so good!

See you in the Pavilion later, where there will be colour for Oliveoil, a trip down memory lane and lafter that, a little Chelsea shopping! :)

More blog posts by cottagekaren

Previous post: Inspired by Crathes Castle 'Golden Border'

Next post: Our Chelsea Day Part 2



Innovation is all very well but the woodland gardens do it for me every time - and the night sky one as well. I quite liked the fountain thing you didn't fancy, but those metal urinals --- well, i ask you!

Thank you so much for these, it was a real pleasure looking around with you.

31 May, 2014


I like seeing the Artisan gardens - I 'get' them more than some of the show gardens. I did like the garden by the two brothers and the one that won best in show had been my favourite from TV coverage.
Thanks for putting all these on Karen, it's much appreciated. I love the tree sculpture with the white foxgloves. That you could easily transfer into a smallish corner somewhere in any garden.
The Orchid display (think it was Thailand) is my least favourite. I haven't even watched half of the TV coverage - I'll end up deleting it before too long!

31 May, 2014


I agree with you on the first ones, didn't do anything for me either Karen ! I love the woodland one and the Night Sky, but couldn't figure out what Alan had done. Was there a lot more to it than that ?
Thanks for showing all of these Karen. I don't think I will ever get to Chelsea, so I'm seeing it without getting my feet trodden on ! lol

1 Jun, 2014


Smashing blog Karen. Better than the tv coverage. I wasn't too fussed with all the subdued colours this year and so much use of white plants.

1 Jun, 2014


Wonderful Karen. I feel like I was there without all the hassle !! Couldn't really find a favourite, although the Garden for First Touch at St.George's could just beat Alan Titchmarsh's for me I think. Thanks for showing.

1 Jun, 2014


Thanks everyone. I'm glad you liked my pictures....will do the next part soon. I believe it will be raining tomorrow, so I'll have plenty of time.

1 Jun, 2014


Rose...sorry. Alan's garden was fairly small...between an artisan and show garden size. It had a big steep slope with a representation of a moor at the back of the beach hut, complete with stream! Then in front of the hut was the beach! It made me smile because my fantasy garden is a beach with a woodland behind....he was quite close! But I have always had similar thoughts to our Alan...we are on the same wavelength! Perhaps it's the Yorkshire in me!

1 Jun, 2014


How lovely, what a great guided tour. I love the poppy sculpture. Not into the gorilla sculpture, suppose it would maybe scare off the fox in the wood though. lol.

Yes you are correct Oliveoil does not think there is enough colour in these gardens, not for me - I like to see the place lit up with colour. Not everyone will agree I know, but just would love to see lots of reds and yellows mingling with the blues and creams.

Not for me straight lines either, too regimental, seems to be the in thing at the moment, pillars of concrete of wooden posts. What is that about? Interpretation I suppose but what do they represent? I would prefer the real thing, trees and colour - hopefully someone will plant a stunning colourful garden one day at Chelsea.

Anyhow, thanks for the blog Karen, great to be able to see the show in the comfort of my chair. Please tell me Scott has not bought one of those PODS. It will ruin your garden. NO NO NO. tell him to plant a tree or two and sling a hamock between them and have a snooze. lol.

2 Jun, 2014


Great blog Karen....I think the yellow Lupins are beautiful. Glad you had a dry day. The Garden for First Touch on a slope is just lovely.

2 Jun, 2014


He has Mum, but don't worry, it won't spoil the garden...I have plans! :)) it certainly isn't 'cottagey' though is it? Lol!

2 Jun, 2014


Indeed not, bit like his hot tub at the old place. lol. What is he like. Oh well if it makes him a happy bunny then so be it. lol. I hope it isn't coming before the greenhouse though. lol. I could see problems arising if that was the case. lol. Hope it has a good colour co-ordination thing going for it or he will be in serious trouble. :O)

2 Jun, 2014


oh, I got to choose the colours I wanted inside! It even has a socket in for a kettle and two tables, one for dinner and one for coffee! It's ever so posh. Thing is, the house doesn't lend itself to a conservatory, and he really misses that. And it's a lot better than a summer house because you can see in all directions. We've got permission from the farmer to drastically lower the hedge, so we'll be able to sit in it and look out over the fields. And the kids can have their friends around in it too. It will be an extra room.

The vegetable garden is going to be around the front of it, so it will be lovely...eventually.

I need to find a builder to make the base for this AND the greenhouse. I could order the greenhouse now if I could get a builder! Mine is booked up until end of the year. However, I had a brainwave yesterday...we know the lady who owns the quarry, she's married to one of Scott's best friends...she is bound to know somebody who will do it for me! Fingers crossed.

2 Jun, 2014


Oh great that sounds like a plan. I am so looking forward to seeing the greenhouse insitu. I am definitely having a little one next year, with a light and a heater. ssshhhhh do not tell Paul. lol. although he has ok'd the greenhouse just not the electrics to it. lol. and I have had a word with Phil and he has said he can cut me some slabs for the perimeter of the greenhouse so it is going to be all go after Christmas. lol.

2 Jun, 2014


A pod.........just the kind of thing our SIL would buy lol great photos K ....I am sorry but I did not like Alan Ts at all, did nothing for me, was rather surprised when I saw it.....
I liked quite a lot of the gardens this year, because I love form and structure and love the colour palette too, so many of the plants used this year we grow in our garden, we both kept saying to the TV we have that, and that, and that, anybody hearing us would think we were mad.....would not be wrong either lol glad you enjoyed yourself......
BTW last week we rented a cottage with our eldest daughter and family with a hot tub.......we could not get them out of it, Peter and I declined the offer to join them, it was too cold.........grandchildren loved it though.

4 Jun, 2014


Great blog. So .... Scott has bought a POSH POD .... Good lad. Karen I assume it's going to have power and internet access and of course satellite TV. ! You'll be able to sit in it on wet days and catch up on GoY. I nearly went a similar route at Tatton RHS, but, took a deep breath and went to the beer tent ..... I am sure you will all have a lot of fun in it.

5 Jun, 2014


Alan, I hope we will. Thank you! :) he did sleep on it before actually placing his order. I keep asking him if he's still sure about it, and he says he is. Ach, why not eh? You can't take your money with you can you?

6 Jun, 2014


Karen, if Scot slept on it, then I am sure it's the right decision for you both. Effectively you will have given yourselves a lovely garden room to enjoy. You can enjoy sitting out in the garden even when it 's raining. Wendy and I love our gazebo, we were unsure at first, but then treated ourselves for our 25th Wedding Anniversary. I think I did tell you that earlier in the year. The gazebo (or Pavilion) as the manufacturers call it is shown, in my photo number 4. One of the best investments we ever made. As you say, "you can't take it with you."

7 Jun, 2014


Alan, you did tell me that, and this is our 25th wedding anniversary treat too!

7 Jun, 2014


Enjoy ! <]:-))

7 Jun, 2014


Finally catching up with your Chelsea visit Karen . . . and what a fabulous set of photos! It's lovely to 'walk' round Chelsea all over again (I did see the TV coverage before we went away). I've a feeling that Titch said that his garden illustrated the moves in his life, i.e. from Yorkshire to the sea(??).

Thanks for sharing, and so glad you had such a great time :))

8 Jun, 2014


Karen, many thanks for sharing your Chelsea visit with us ... I also prefer the smaller artisan gardens and can never get over how they look as though they've been there for years! The statue of the Boar (?) looks similar to one at the entrance to Osborne House on the I. of Wight ... quite uninviting!

9 Jun, 2014

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